Statement on Mayhuel Mural

Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Columbus, Ohio

934 Gallery is an open and inclusive place for artists to express themselves and their creativity in a safe and supportive environment. Annual exhibitions are chosen by a panel of jurors as are our annual muralists, who create work to be seen and appreciated at 934 Fest, a fundraiser that is attended by the residents of Milo-Grogan and the greater Columbus community.

On Monday, September 5, we received a written complaint from a family in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood about the mural Mayhuel by artist Cat Ramos with Isabel Francis Bongue and Vrinda Munoz. The complaint was that the mural was not kid-friendly and that the family would not be bringing their children to 934 Fest. This was followed by a call from our landlord with a complaint from himself and sharing similar complaints from other neighbors in Milo-Grogan.

The 934 Gallery Board discussed this concern with Ramos. Our conclusion was that we firmly stood with Ramos and her design of this mural. We shared the historical context and cultural importance of the Aztec god depicted in the mural with those who reached out to us with concerns. At every step, we communicated what was going on with the artists and received permission to print her written story about Mayhuel and affix it to the mural to educate our community. We featured the mural on Instagram in support of the work. Additionally, we worked in good faith with our landlord to keep the mural up with supplemental education materials through the festival.

On October 17, 2022, we received a formal letter from our landlord requiring the removal of the mural Mayhuel by October 25, 2022. Our landlord stated in the letter he would revoke our mural privileges on his properties if we do not comply. After carefully reviewing the letter and consulting with our attorney, we made the difficult decision that complying with the letter was in the best interest of the gallery’s mission. 934 Gallery’s mission as a nonprofit arts organization is to work with a wide variety of artists with many different backgrounds to give them a platform for recognition, while also acting as an arts anchor in Milo-Grogan. Losing the ability to provide the community with unlimited access to 43 murals every year would compromise that mission.

934 Gallery worked and communicated with Cat Ramos at every step along the way. We stand firm in our belief that Ramos’ work is important to the larger community and creates a dialogue about the history it represents. We have refused requests to paint over the mural from our landlord, however, he plans to employ his management company to paint over the mural and censor Ramos’ work.

934 Gallery is heartbroken over the censorship of this work and that any attempt to remedy the situation with our landlord has failed. We will continue to work with and support artists through our exhibitions, murals, and public programming as well as provide a service to the Milo-Grogan community. 

ABOUT 934 GALLERY 934 Gallery showcases over 2,700 square feet of exhibition space in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Established in June 2015, the gallery was born in the spirit of its neighbors at Milo Arts, a thriving artist residence. 934 Gallery is an entirely volunteer-operated organization.

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